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What's a reasonable punishment for a 6 year old getting caught stealing at school?

My 6 year old DD has gotten in trouble several times at school in the last few weeks, nothing in our home life has changed and yet she suddenly seems to keep getting into trouble. Last week she had a dry erase marker and wrote on one of her teacher's posters - luckily it was a laminate poster and the marker wiped right off and she confessed to her teacher. Yesterday she came home and told me someone was trying to get her in trouble by taking a friend's Nintendo DS and putting it in her back pack. I knew it sounded sketchy but my DD has no history of stealing or lying like that. Today the principal called me and my DD had confessed that it was her who tried to steal it - twice! The substitute teacher found it in her backpack once in the middle of the day and then again at the end of the day when the other student noticed it missing again. The principal took away some of her school privileges and said that was all he was doing at this time because she did confess and other than these two incidents she has always been a very well behaved and respectful student. She told me she wrote on the poster because she was bored, and told me she tried to steal the DS because she wants one really bad even though her father told her she can't have one because she is always losing her toys and until she learns not to lose things she isn't getting a DS. When she got home from school I explained her punishment to her (no TV or computer for a week and she would only be allowed outside to ride her bike for an hour with either me or her father there to make sure she doesn't play with the neighborhood kids) and since she doesn't like the punishment she informed me she isn't accepting that and started whining and tried telling me she wasn't do this or that and  so on. Needless to say her punishment is now for two weeks, and she won't be going outside. However I was wondering if anyone else has anymore ideas or a better punishment than simply taking away things.


Asked by anon1986East at 3:43 PM on May. 24, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (9)
  • I would go into her room and remove just about everything. Then make her earn it back. Leave only the bed. Each chore done, good day in school, or other things you deem worthy earn something back. Let her see how it feels to have things taken.

    Also why is the school letting kids bring this kind of stuff to school. Not saying it is an excuse...but our school doesn't allow this stuff for that very reason.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 3:58 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • Have you considered making her write an apology letter to the teacher and the student?

    Answer by Mel_in_PHX at 3:48 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I think taking things away from her that mean something will work. Whatever she likes to do Id take it away. Id make her sit in her room for 2 weeks and study! I wouldnt let her go outside and ride her bike or anything fun. She needs to learn that stealing isnt something that will be taken lightly. Good luck mama!

    Answer by jmgblair10 at 3:49 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I think not letting her go outside is crappy. No electronics, fine...6 year olds need to move thier bodies and breathe fresh air.

    Did you talk to her about how it would feel to have something stolen? If not i'd calmly explore the topic with her.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 3:49 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I mostly told her no going outside now because of her attitude, I'll probably still allow her out with supervision to let her get some excersice. When the principal called he had my DD get on the phone and explain what happened and I asked her then if she had apologized to her friend, she said not yet and I told her to do so as soon as she got back to class but I think its a good idea to make her do a written apology as well.

    Comment by anon1986East (original poster) at 3:55 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I'm still pregnant so I don't have the experience yet of raising a child, but I was raised with a lot of discipline and I think that's just about the only thing that works anymore. However it's like you can't make them feel too isolated or put them down because then I think that will make them rebel and do the opposite of what you're trying to do. (Like what happened to me!) I do like the idea of writing an apology letter! Good Luck to you!

    Answer by Nov.2011 at 3:57 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I also told her stealing was a serious issue and she complained her teacher doesn't trust her to go to the bathroom by herself now because 1st grade has their own bathroom but its at the end of the room where the class has their backpacks and I told her thats what happens when you steal - people lose trust in you and she would have to earn her teacher's and her friend's trust back.

    Comment by anon1986East (original poster) at 3:58 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • @Shaken1976 - I had that thought too - about why the other student was allowed to bring her Nintendo DS to school but I didn't mention it to the principal because I didn't want him to think I was trying to take the blame off my DD.

    Comment by anon1986East (original poster) at 4:01 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • I would do what Shaken said too. I would take just about everything away and make her earn it back. I would also have serious disscussions with her daily about why it is not ok and about consequences for her actions. In a situation like this, I don't really think you can be too tough on her because it is a very serious offense. If she doesn't learn right from wrong now, you will have serious problems in the future :( Hugs to you, you can do this.

    Answer by CJM_SHM at 4:23 PM on May. 24, 2011